Just over 70 percent of Democrats believe that wealth should be redistributed by imposing high taxes on the wealthiest Americans, according to a Gallup poll released Thursday. An almost equal percentage of Republicans feel the opposite.
The poll, which surveyed 1,077 Americans over 18 years old, found that in general, the public was evenly split on the issue. Forty-nine percent said that the government should not redistribute wealth by having heavy taxes on the rich; 47 percent said it should.
The dispute seems to be in part a problem with the method of redistribution, since a majority of Americans, 57 percent, believe that wealth should be more evenly distributed in the country, compared to just 35 percent who believe it is already evenly distributed.
Democrats and Republicans polled seem to fall in line with their party’s politicians in the ongoing debate over taxes. Independents tend to be against redistribution by narrow margins, with 53 percent saying wealth should not be redistributed and 43 percent believing it should.
The poll shows a continuation of a downward trend in the number of people who want redistribution of wealth through taxes on the wealthy. Gallup asks this same question at the same time each year, and the percentage of people who want a redistribution of wealth by way of taxes on the rich has risen 1999, peaking in 2007 at 49 percent, with just 47 percent against redistribution. Since 2007, however, the percentage of people in favor of wealth redistribution through taxes has gradually fallen.